082 775 1224 / kerryn@cjmgrowers.co.za

The Largest Selection of Indigenous Species in any Nursery in KZN.

Trees, Shrubs, Aloes, Grasses and Ground Covers.

Rawsonia lucida

  • Forest Peach (E)

  • Bosperske (A)

  • iThambo (Z)

  • umLongo (X)

Generall

DESCRIPTION

  • A highly attractive shrub or small tree, with grey to reddish-green, mottled bark, spreading, often elegantly sweeping branches and a curved crown of long, shiny, sharply toothed leaves. The flowers are a lovely, buttery to greenish white, and form a sharp contrast to the dark green foliage. The fruits are a beautiful, vivid yellowish to caramel brown when ripe, and are quite tasty. Very slow growing, sometimes only producing flowers when it is more than 3m tall.

SA TREE

  • 491

FAMILY

  • Achariaceae

  • A family of flowering plants, herbs, shrubs and trees, distributed throughout the tropical regions of the world, presently comprising of somewhat 30 genera and 145 species.

  • Most members were previously included in the Flacourtiaceae family, while Achariaceae was initially a minor and little-known family of herbaceous or shrub-like plants from Africa, but recent DNA studies have altered the classification, and are still in progress.

  • Members have unique flowers – the parts are typically spiral, not whorled, or if it is whorled, the petals outnumber the sepals. The petals also generally have a thin layer of scale at their bases, and the flowers possess a multitude of stamens

HABITAT

  • The trees are most characteristic of medium altitude (sea-level to about 2200 m), and montane forests, but sometimes occur in bushveld, lowland areas. Found in semi-arid to moist and humid evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, also coastal, scarp, and riverine, where it typically forms part of the understory vegetation. From Sudan to eastern Somalia, Kenya and further south to Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and eastern South Africa (Natal, Transkei, and parts of Gauteng).

Main Features

BARK

  • Smooth, grey-green or reddish grey-brown, blotchy, flaking in rounded patches or strips to reveal the orange-red inner bark.

  • The main stem is typically straight, and often heavily grooved and/or buttressed at the base on older specimens, with a diameter of 400-500 mm.

  • Branches are glabrous to finely hairy, grey-green, often seen with small lenticels, and are arranged in a drooping habit from the central trunk.

FOLIAGE

  • Evergreen.

  • Leaves alternate, simple, elliptic to oblong-obovate (70-180 x 20-80 mm), with a stiffly leathery texture.

  • Shiny, fresh, bright green above, relatively paler below, with distinct venation, especially on the undersides.

  • The leaves taper to a thin, rather pointed tip, and the bases are broadly tapered.

  • Margins are spine-toothed, with sharply incurving or forward arching serrations, and the slender stipules (6-7 mm), are shed quite early.

  • The leafstalk is 10-20 mm long.

FLOWERS

  • Axillary, many-flowered clusters / racemes (25-40 mm long), or singly occurring creamy, whitish-green to pale yellow flowers.

  • The floral parts are in 4’s or 5’s, overlapping and unequal, and the flowers have a faintly sweet fragrance.

  • The flowers are clustered closely on short stalks along the young stems, and are bisexual, or rarely, male. (September- November).

FRUIT

  • A yellow to yellowish-brown, smooth, globose capsule, 20-40 mm in diameter, tipped with the persistent style.

  • Slightly fleshy and berry-like at first, slowly splitting into 4 or 5 longitudinal sections as it dries.

  • Each capsule contains only a few, dark brown, oval to rounded, slightly rough-textured seeds.

  • Each seed is enveloped in a whitish pulp and has a diameter of about 10 mm. (November- February).

HEIGHT

  • 3-11 m

SPREAD

  • 2-5 m

Uses

PRACTICAL

  • The wood is pale-reddish to rose-pink in colour, very hard, tough and heavy.

  • It does not have much value for commercial usage, as the pieces obtainable are generally quite small.

  • The wood has however been said to make excellent, sturdy carrying and walking sticks, as well as pestles, small kitchen utensils and implement handles.

  • Makes a good firewood.

WARNINGS

  • Cyanogenic glycosides, which are a natural plant toxin, and are typically present in a number of human food plants and seeds, have been found in the leaves.

  • Exposure to cyanide may lead to acute growth retardation and neurological symptoms resulting from tissue damage in the central nervous system.

  • Processing methods can detoxify cyanogenic glycosides and reduce the risk of cyanide poisoning.

Landscape

WILDLIFE

  • Butterflies, bees, wasps, moths, beetles and a host of other insect life will be attracted by the flowers.

  • These insects may attract insectivorous bird species, and certain smaller bird species love to build their nests amongst the dense, concealing branches.

  • Tree frogs are also attracted to the trees and take shelter behind or even on the leaves.

  • Monkeys, baboons, bushbabies and some small mammals, as well as humans, eat the fruits.

  • Used as a source of food in times of scarcity.

  • Charaxes, Acraea, commodore and nymph butterflies breed on the trees.

ADVANTAGES

  • Very attractive trees with beautiful foliage and edible fruits, suitable for use as garden ornamentals.

  • They can be planted in deeply shady, moist areas where most other trees will struggle.

  • Planted in groups, they can make dense, sturdy windbreaks or screens and hedges.

  • Good boundary plants, or background foliage additions.

  • Slow growing, neat, and does not get overly big, so it is suited for small or townhouse gardens.

  • As they are evergreen, the trees will look beautiful lush and elegant throughout the year.

Cultivation

TOLERANCE

  • The trees are not tolerant of dry, hot climates, and cannot tolerate extended periods of drought.

  • They can endure mild to moderate frosts, but not for extended periods.

  • Plant in a sheltered, temperate, shady area, preferably in close proximity of walls and other, larger plants that can protect it from adverse conditions.

GROWTH RATE

  • Slow to moderate, with enough water and good, rich soil, 100-300 mm per year.

  • For at least 6 months after transplanting, some trees have shown almost no additional growth.

LIGHTING

  • Prefers deep shade or an area that is shady for most of the day.

SOIL & WATER

  • Deep, moist but well-drained, loamy or peaty soils, with a slightly acidic ph.

  • If planting in sandy soils, added compost will benefit development.

  • Moderate to high water needs, at least 3-4 deep drenching’s per week, more during very hot and dry periods.

PROPAGATION

  • Propagated from seeds and cuttings. Soak seeds for 24 hours in water before sowing.

  • Place the seeds in a tray filled with a mixture of fine river sand and compost (2:1) and cover them with an additional layer of this soil mixture (about 10 mm deep).

  • Keep the trays in a temperate, bright, humid environment, at about 25 degrees constant ambient temperature.

  • The soil should be kept moist but not overly wet at all times.

  • Germination usually occurs within 3-6 weeks.

  • Hardwood cuttings, taken from actively growing branches on the tree, should be left to become relatively dry, then treated with a rooting hormone, and placed in a similar mixture.

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CONTACT

082 775 1224

kerryn@cjmgrowers.co.za

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